Category Archives: Duke Basketball

Kennard led Duke with 30 points this past Friday night.

Duke Basketball-The Week in Review

Kennard led Duke with 30 points this past Friday night.
Kennard led Duke with 30 points this past Friday night.

It's time for a look back at the past week before Duke takes on Augustana this Friday in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The word is in on Jayson Tatum

Well, the number one thing we heard last week was tha Jayson Tatum suffered only a foot sprain in practice.  For what it is worth despite wearing a walking boot in Friday evenings exhibition game, he was moving around just fine.  You can expect Duke to bring him along slowly but he will back sooner rather than later.

Giles, Tatum and Obi donned street clothes for Duke.
Giles, Tatum and Obi donned street clothes for Duke.

Injury plagued Blue Devils win

The Duke Blue Devils faced off against Virginia State and came away with a 90-59 win.  Matt Jones played all of three minutes before going out with a hamstring injury.  He is expected to be back for the final exhibition game versus Augustana this coming Friday.   Grayson Allen was also limited to just 22 minutes and made a trip to the locker room after a fall, but he is good to go now.

Luke Kennard Keyes the Win

With four Blue Devils sidelined with injuries, Luke Kennard took the leadership role in just his second season at Duke.  Kennard played some at the point guard spit  knocking down a game high 30 points to go with 6 rebounds, 2 assists, a block and 2 steals.  His play earned Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski's praise in the post game press conference.  Krzyzewski told Blue Devil Nation that he expected his prized sophomore to step up in the situation and that he did so with flying colors.

dsc_0751A Double-Double for Marques Bolden

Exhibition game or not, a double-double is impressive your first rime out in a Duke uniform.  Marques Bolden played a cool and steady game on his way to 13 points and 11 rebounds.  More impressive to myself from the sidelines were his 5 blocked shots where he is allowing Duke to do some different things defensively this season.  Bolden is obviously going to continue to be a force in the paint for Duke all season.  It's should be no secret that he said with certainty in the post game locker room that he wisely chose to play for Duke.

Other Freshman, Solid Too

After a slow start, Frank Jackson settled in and had nice effort. Jackson had 17 points and 4 assists on Friday evening.  The play of the game went to Javin DeLaurier who blocked a shot, gained control of the ball, only to dribble the length of the court and throw down a monster slam dunk.  Krzyzewski praised both players after the game and said that DeLauriers play added some needed energy.

A Key Coach K Comment

If one is to listen closely to Mike Krzyzewski in his press conferences, they would realize he let's you in on some things. Grayson Allen may actually have been pushing too hard in the season first Blue-White and exhibition games per Krzyzewski.  What he said makes sense in that he wants to slow Allen down a bit.  By doing so, expect a different Allen come the Augustana game and as the seasons moves forward.

Duke Honors

I voted for Grayson Allen and ACC Player of the Year as did fellow media members.  Allen also made the first team, while Jayson Tatum finished runner-up in the Rookie of the Year voting and was placed on 2nd All ACC team.  Duke was picked by the media to win the league.  The Blue Devils were also picked number one in the nation by the A.P. this past week as well.

Prospects in the house.
Prospects in the house.

Duke Entertains Two Big Time Prospects

As you may have read in our latest recruiting update for members, Duke has entertained a ton of key prospects of late. This past Friday, Kevin Knox visited Durham where he was called over by the Cameron Crazies to sit with them.  Duke offered Knox long ago and it is no secret that he will pick his collegiate choice in the Spring. The Blue Devils also entertained big time 2018  PG prospect Darius Garland who sat with Knox behind the Duke bench and near the staff.  Duke would later offer him a scholarship.


Duke Picked to Win ACC, Allen POY

dsc_0307-001CHARLOTTE, N.C. ( – Duke will enter the 2016-17 season as the Atlantic Coast Conference favorite, according to a vote of media in conjunction with the league’s annual “Operation Basketball.”
The Blue Devils, who return junior All-America guard Grayson Allen and senior starting guard Matt Jones from last year’s team that finished 25-11 and earned the program’s 21st consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, received 85 of 91 first-place votes in the preseason poll released Wednesday.
Duke also welcomes back 6-foot-9 graduate forward Amile Jefferson following an injury that sidelined him for most of last season, and sophomore Luke Kennard, who was a key contributor in his first year. The Blue Devils’ freshman class includes promising frontcourt players Jayson Tatum and Harry Giles.
Defending ACC champion North Carolina (six first-place votes) finished second in the voting, followed by Virginia, Louisville and Syracuse. Each of those teams has joined Duke in virtually every preseason Top 25 national ranking.
ACC preseason voters selected NC State sixth, followed by Notre Dame, Florida State and Miami. Virginia Tech was picked 10th, while Clemson, Pitt, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Boston College rounded out the voting.
The Blue Devils’ Allen, a 6-foot-5 native of Jacksonville, Florida, averaged 21.6 points per game last season to rank second among ACC scorers. Allen scored in double figures in 33 of 35 games, including 19 games with 20-or-more points. He raised his points per game average 17.2 points from his freshman year, setting an ACC record for scoring improvement in a single season.
NC State’s Dennis Smith, Jr., a 6-foot-3 guard from Fayetteville, North Carolina, received the nod as the Preseason Rookie of the Year. The highest-ranked recruit (No. 4 overall) that NC State has signed since the Recruiting Services Consensus Index began ranking prospects in 1998, Smith has been rated college basketball’s No. 1 incoming point guard by ESPN.
Allen also led the balloting for the Preseason All-ACC First Team, where he was joined by Clemson’s Jaron Blossomgame, North Carolina’s Joel Berry II, Virginia’s London Perrantes and NC State’s Smith.
The Preseason All-ACC Second Team consists of North Carolina’s Justin Jackson, Duke’s Jayson Tatum, Syracuse’s Tyler Lydon, Florida State’s Dwayne Bacon and Pitt’s Michael Young.
Duke was picked as the ACC preseason favorite for the 16th time in the 48-year history of the poll and the 15th time under current head coach Mike Krzyzewski. The Blue Devils were last tabbed as the favorite prior to the 2014-15 season.
The regular season begins for all 15 ACC teams the weekend of November 11. In addition to an 18-game regular-season conference schedule, the 64th annual ACC Tournament will be played for the first time at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, tipping off with first round games on Tuesday, March 7, and concluding with the Saturday night championship game on March 11,
ACC Operation Basketball 2016-17 Preseason Poll
(First-place votes in parenthesis)
Team & Points
1. Duke (85) - 1359
2. North Carolina (6) - 1239
3. Virginia - 1125
4. Louisville - 1034
5. Syracuse - 905
6. NC State - 772
7. Notre Dame - 716
8. Florida State - 705
9. Miami - 650
10. Virginia Tech - 645
11. Clemson - 623
12. Pitt - 511
13. Wake Forest - 309
14. Georgia Tech - 199
15. Boston College – 128
2016-17 Preseason All-ACC Team
(votes in parenthesis)
First Team
Grayson Allen, Duke (87)
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson (70)
Joel Berry II, North Carolina (45)
London Perrantes, Virginia (36)
Dennis Smith, Jr., NC State (34)
Second Team
Justin Jackson, North Carolina (22)
Jayson Tatum, Duke (21)
Tyler Lydon, Syracuse (20)
Dwayne Bacon, Florida State (16)
Michael Young, Pitt (14)
ACC Preseason Player of the Year
Grayson Allen, Duke (70)
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson (7)
London Perrantes, Virginia (5)
Joel Berry II, North Carolina (5)
Dennis Smith, Jr., NC State (2)
Andrew White, Syracuse (1)
Davon Reed, Miami (1)
ACC Preseason Rookie of the Year
Dennis Smith, Jr., NC State (51)
Jayson Tatum, Duke (20)
Harry Giles, Duke (10)
Tyus Battle, Syracuse (5)
VJ King, Louisville (2)
Jonathan Isaac, Florida State (2)
Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech (1)

Tatum Out Two Weeks With Sprain

dsc_0130DURHAM, N.C. – Duke men’s basketball freshman Jayson Tatum suffered a left foot sprain in practice on Tuesday.

The anticipated recovery time for this injury is two weeks. Tatum will not play in Duke’s exhibition games against Virginia State on Oct. 28 and Augustana on Nov. 4.

“This is the best possible news,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “It is a manageable injury that will not impact Jayson long-term. We look forward to having him back very soon.”

Duke opens the regular season when it hosts Marist on Nov. 11 as part of the Hall of Fame Tip-Off.


Harry Giles

Krzyzewski Says Harry Giles is Ahead of Schedule

Harry Giles
Harry Giles

While all of the Blue Devil Nation holds it's breath for new on star freshman forward Jayson Tatum's injury, there is some good news.

According to Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Harry Giles Jr. is coming along ahead of schedule.  Like Tatum, Giles is part of a stellar Blue Devils recruiting class that had helped make Duke the pre season's top rated team.

Krzyzewski appeared on ESPN Sports Center early this morning during the annual ACC Media Day in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“In Harry’s case, he had his knee scoped about three weeks ago, I think on Oct. 4,” Coach K said. “There was nothing structurally wrong with his knee. It wasn’t the knee that had the ACL, it was the one that he had a couple of years ago. He’s actually doing great. We feel very, very encouraged about him coming and playing, '' said Krzyzewski.

Meanwhile, the news on Tatum is wait and see.  Second opinions are being gathered and there will be a clearer picture at a later time.

“With Jayson, we’re not sure,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski stated Wednesday on SportsCenter. “It’s not nearly the injury that Harry has had. That’s still in an evaluation period. We’ll find out more today and hopefully it’s something minor.”

Tatum was injured yesterday during the Duke NBA Pro Day.


Jefferson Named Malone Award Canditate

dsc_0391-001SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Duke graduate student Amile Jefferson was named one of 20 candidates for the 2017 Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year Award on Thursday in announcement by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The award is in its third year recognizing the top power forward in Division I men’s college basketball.

Jefferson has played in 115 games in a Duke uniform, making 68 starts and helping the Blue Devils capture the 2015 NCAA title.

The Philadelphia native started the first nine games of the 2015-16 season, averaging 11.4 points and 10.3 rebounds while shooting .683 from the floor. After fracturing his right foot in December, he missed the final 27 games of the campaign.

Jefferson is one of the best offensive rebounders in Duke history and enters his final collegiate season ranked sixth on the program’s career chart with 277 offensive boards. He also has a career .624 field goal percentage, second-best in program history among players who have made at least 200 field goals.

In addition to his on-court exploits, Jefferson is the first player in program history to be named to the All-ACC Academic Team four times.

The Malone Award committee will narrow its watch list to 10 players by mid-February and a list of five finalists will be announced in March. The winner of the 2017 Karl Malone Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles on April 7.

For more information on the Karl Malone Award, visit

2017 Karl Malone Award Candidates
Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
Ivan Rabb, California
Amile Jefferson, Duke
Jonathan Isaac, Florida State
Yante Maten, Georgia
Carlton Bragg Jr., Kansas
Robert Carter, Maryland
Dedric Lawson, Memphis
Miles Bridges, Michigan State
Isaiah Hicks, North Carolina
Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame
Michael Young, Pittsburgh
Caleb Swanigan, Purdue
Tyler Lydon, Syracuse
Bennie Boatwright, Southern California
Alec Peters, Valparaiso
Kris Jenkins, Villanova
Austin Nichols, Virginia
Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin


Tatum Named to Julius Erving Watch List

 dsc_0130SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Duke freshman Jayson Tatum was named one of 20 candidates for the 2017 Julius Erving Small Forward of the Year Award on Wednesday in announcement by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

The award is in its third year recognizing the top player in Division I men’s college basketball at the position played by Erving, a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Tatum is the lone freshman on this year’s watch list.

Tatum was named both Gatorade Male Athlete of the Year and Gatorade Boys Basketball National Player of the Year in 2016 after averaging 29.5 points and 9.1 rebounds to lead Chaminade Prep to the Missouri Class 5A state title. He was a first-team USA Today All-USA and Naismith Trophy All-America selection in 2016, as well as a McDonald’s All-American and a Jordan Brand Classic participant.

The St. Louis native owns three gold medals as a member of the USA Basketball program: the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship, the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship and the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship. In 19 games for his country, Tatum has posted averages of 11.9 points and 4.1 rebounds.

The Erving Award committee will narrow its watch list to 10 players by mid-February and a list of five finalists will be announced in March. The winner of the 2017 Julius Erving Award will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles on April 7.

For more information on the Julius Erving Award, visit


2017 Julius Erving Award Candidates

Evan Bradds, Belmont

Kelan Martin, Butler

Jarron Blossomgame, Clemson

Terry Larrier, Connecticut

Jayson Tatum, Duke

Dwayne Bacon, Florida State

OG Anunoby, Indiana

Deng Adel, Louisville

Justin Jackson, North Carolina

VJ Beachem, Notre Dame

Jae’Sean Tate, Ohio State

Dillon Brooks, Oregon

Tres Tinkle, Oregon State

Vince Edwards, Purdue

Dikembe Dixson, Illinois-Chicago

Kevin Hervey, UT Arlington

Jalen Moore, Utah State

Josh Hart, Villanova

Markis McDuffie, Wichita State

Trevon Bluiett, Xavier